Emperador 9-mth profit flat at P4.7B as interest expenses weigh

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EMPERADOR Inc., the liquor vehicle of businessman Andrew Tan, reported a flat net income in the first nine months of the year as interest expenses weighed on its bottom line despite strong revenues.

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The company said its net income inched up by 3 percent to P4.7 billion from P4.5 billion a year ago.

“Interest expenses during the year totaled P412 million while it had none in the same period last year,” Emperador said in its quarterly report.

Revenues climbed 45 percent to P29 billion from P20 billion, boosted by increased investments in foreign operations.

“Overseas operations have beefed up this year’s net results. Scotch whisky business, in particular, accounted for 37 percent of revenues and 10.5 percent of net profit. Quarterly domestic sales of Emperador continue to pick up from first quarter this year, yet third quarter sales remained flat year-on-year,” the spirits manufacturer said.

“Our company is sowing the seeds of future growth while maintaining its dominance in the local liquor industry,” Emperador president Winston Co said.

Last May, the company launched Smirnoff Mule, which spurred good consumer reception.

“We launched Smirnoff Mule, a blend of ginger beer, lime and vodka, last May and also very recently launched Andy Player whisky, which is creating quite a buzz among local drinkers. These are exciting additions to our domestic products led by Emperador Light brandy,” he added.

Other than Smirnoff Mule, the firm also launched three product labels from the Whyte and Mackay partnership –Jura, Dalmore and Whyte & Mackay – which are now available at grocery stores and supermarkets. The four new products are part of the eight product launches lined up for this year.

The company has budgeted P3 billion in capital expenditures (capex) intended for its eight product launches this year.

The programmed spending for this year is line with the company’s bid to double its net income to P11 billion to P12 billion by 2017 from the P5.8 billion profit recorded in 2013.

Emperador said it aims to promote a whisky segment in the spirits industry, targeting young sophisticated consumers.

The company is also looking to build a P300-million glass manufacturing facility in Canlubang — set for construction early next year — to produce an amber glass bottle for Smirnoff Mule. At present, the company has been importing bottles for the new product.

Earlier, Emperador director Kingson Sian said the company was bidding for the acquisition of French cognac producer Louis Royer SAS, but it failed to win the auction.

Emperador is 87.55-percent owned by Tan’s holding firm Alliance Global Group Inc. The group also has interests in property development (Megaworld Corp.); quick-service restaurants via the McDonald’s franchise (Golden Arches Development Corp.); and integrated tourism development businesses via Resorts World Manila and Resorts World Bayshore (Travellers International Hotel Group Inc.).

KRISTYN NIKA M. LAZO

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